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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 16245
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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I have a ewe and a hog bothy shedding parts of their fleece.

Customer Question

I have a ewe and a hog bothy shedding parts of their fleece. Beneath tghe skin in very raw. Both are both eating but appaer lathargic. What is the cause and treatment please?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

I am quite concerned about these two sheep and any flock members in contact with them (or any that may even share fences) and must advise you that this may be quite serious.

Fleece shedding with raw, weepy skin (secondary to those sheep itching/rubbing themselves until exhausted) can be a sign of sheep scab caused by Psoroptes ovis mites (example 1, example 2). Now this is notifiable in the UK (Defra Information on Scab Legislation -HERE). Therefore, it isn't a case of just treating them yourself, you need to contact your vet to have these sheep checked. If scab is confirmed, then AHVLA may need to be contacted and all in-contact animals will need to be treated.

Just to make note of treatment for this condition, should mites be identified via skin scrape and microscopic evaluation, we can often treat the mite with Doramectin. Again when treating, we need to treat all animals in the group and thoroughly clean of all areas they have have access to.

Overall, these signs do raise some serious red flags that sheep scab may have infiltrated your flock. Therefore, it is important to act quickly and get your vet involved here. They can diagnose if this is scab and aid you in the proper protocols to legally and medically manage the flock before these animals can become any more debilitated by this infection or any others fall prey to this condition.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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